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Counsellors talking too much

(29 Posts)
Haciendak Wed 11-Oct-17 14:19:22

I've had several counsellors over the years, the best being from mental health services such as Mind and bereavement services. They were always excellent.
I've come to realise that I am always going to benefit from having a consistent counsellor in my life, which can not be offered by these services, my prevention rather than cure approach.
So I've been exploring BACS approved private counsellors for a Few years now, but I always come across the same issue: private counsellors talk too much. I never get to the depth of my issues as I'm cut off regularly by their own long winded stories and I watch the clock as my time and money ticks away. I have tried maybe 4 private counsellors and discovered the same issues with each, putting me off trying any more, also I find it difficult to then muscle out of the sessions once I've seen them a few times.
I'd love to have long term reliable support from a private counsellors that I can see regularly but I'm becoming very dis-heartened.
Why are they all talking at me so much? Is it because I'm young and they think they can fix things with stories from their own lives? It seems to have become a regular problem, one I never experienced with established services.

2rebecca Wed 11-Oct-17 14:35:16

I think a lot of inappropriate people go in to counselling who think counselling has helped them so they will help others and they aren't properly taught to shut up as they aren't the patient now.
If you're paying for the sessions then you should tell them they are talking too much. They probably just aren't properly trained though, the private health sphere is much less regulated than the NHS.
I think you also have to know what sort of counsellor you want. Do you want someone to just listen, someone to give you advice, someone to always take your side, someone to point out when your attitude and personality are part of the problem, someone to use behavioural techniques?

Twitchingdog Wed 11-Oct-17 14:56:44

Try colleges/ uni that train counsellor s . As least you can give feed back and mine do e a good one that way

swingofthings Wed 11-Oct-17 16:12:34

Totally agree. Anyone can be a counsellor and you need to be very careful who you go for.

My advice is to do read up about the different type of counselling therapies and which one you think would suit you best. In a nutshell, you have Humanistic Therapy, which consists mainly in listening to you on the belief that by encouraging you to talk, and asking you questions about what you think are the reasons for your feelings/actions, you will yourself gain a better understanding of what is driving your behaviour, thoughts and emotions.

Cognitive Therapy is about teaching you methods to recognise and cope with negative stimuli. It's best for anxiety/phobia. It will teach you mental skills to face what causes you anxiety and take you through steps to expose you to the stimulus. This usually tends to be shorter term as once you learn the skills, you are expected to apply them yourself by practicing them.

Pyschotherapy is about exploring the deep seeded reasons for your thoughts and behaviours, believing in the affect of our unconscious. Pyschotherapy is about going back in life, often all the way through childhood and exploring what event might have triggered unconscious responses that are affecting the way you feel in the present. This involves a lot of talking and is usually much more long term.

A good counsellor will have been trained in at least one therapy (there are a few more, but not as common) and will be able to do so. They should explore with you which is more appropriate for you, and say that they might not be the right person if they are not trained in the one that would suit your needs best.

I would definitely ask them what training they've received and where and I personally wouldn't go with counsellors who've paid large sum of money for a 6 weeks course. Ideally, they should have gone through a college course, and ideally a degree, although there are no doubt excellent counsellors who will have little diplomas but much experience and a natural aptitude.

Blinkingecksake Wed 11-Oct-17 16:37:47

I have the opposite problem!! I can’t find one who gets me. I talk too much to fill the silence, they don’t seem to know what to say to me! Really helpful advice swingofthings.

Guiltypleasures001 Wed 11-Oct-17 16:48:20


You are entitled to,tell them they talk to much and ask them to listen instead, a decent therapist will follow your lead

TurquoiseShine Wed 11-Oct-17 17:05:02

Yeah, tell 'em! That will shut them up!

Some of them need to be told!

Haciendak Thu 12-Oct-17 13:02:44

I find it very odd that so many of them want to talk so much. They behave much more like preachers or teachers than listeners; as if they're in the wrong profession. I wouldn't feel comfortable asking any counsellor to talk less, particularly the one I'm seeing now as I think it would have massive implications for the rapport between us. We get along well, but I'm not paying for a friendly chit chat.

LuckyBitches Thu 12-Oct-17 14:58:01

Trainee therapist here. I am baffled by this, shut up and listen is the first thing you're taught in counselling/therapy. I agree that as a profession it attracts some dreadful people. Most of us approach the field for some dodgy reason (projecting my own neediness onto others is one of mine, for example) but during the training you're supposed to develop a good level of self awareness, which it sounds as though your counsellors are lacking, OP. I would suggest going for a therapist rather than a counsellor - the training is much more rigourous, and drop anyone that you don't click with on the first meeting. A good counsellor/therapist will be prepared for this.

Haciendak Sun 15-Oct-17 13:12:22

I think you're right to drop a counsellor who doesn't seem right, but it's often when I'm about 3 sessions in that I realise they're not giving me what I need. I always tell them on first meeting exactly what I'm looking for and they always tell me they can meet my needs and appear to do so, however it seems not to be the case. Some counsellors seems to charge more money per hour than I'm willing to pay when I've been looking, so perhaps I need to pay a little more for a better quality service?

Haciendak Sun 15-Oct-17 13:13:01

I'm currently paying £38 per session

Theworldisfullofidiots Sun 15-Oct-17 13:15:50

I'm a coach trained in several psychological models and I find it baffling too.

BubblingUp Sun 15-Oct-17 14:28:08

I went to a therapist who told me so much about her life on the first visit I feel l like I should have invoiced her instead of the other way round. I didn't go back. It only takes one visit to learn they are a talker. Just keep looking.

scaryclown Sun 15-Oct-17 14:33:23

There are definitely too many counsellors with limited brains, and it's really annoying. The last one I had treated me like I was a fantasist when I talked about jobs I was qualified for and instead was trying to make me 'accept' that I was unable to work on anything but schoolkid pocket money jobs. She 'suggested' claiming to be disabled. She didn't pick up on. Anything that was important and yet was convinced that she 'knew me really well' she was useless in anything but make me resent I'd paid in advance, if I was in a good mood I was 'agitated and distressed' if I was tired I was 'introverted' it was more like a wall of insults and limiting thoughts. I went to her for the opposite. She kept trying to tap me for more money.

If you don't feel they are 'getting' you, sack them off.
Another one I tried whenever I mentioned things like, transactional analysis or group dynamics, she said that I was 'challenging and resisting her authority' and was 'narcissistic ally researching to out do and humiliate her' daft.

queenthequeen Sun 15-Oct-17 20:55:03

Counselling is often put forward as the solution - as in, "get help, get counselling" - but is it I wonder hmm

Frisbeefreedom Sun 15-Oct-17 21:07:11

Could you contact one of the agencies you've used previously and ask whether any of their counsellors work privately? I agree with previous posters, I'm currently training and shut up and listen is counselling 101! The problem with counselling is that it's unregulated, even if they're BACP or UKCP accredited the level of oversight is very limited.

Maelstrop Sun 15-Oct-17 21:08:42

You wouldn't pay for any other service at that price and then decide you weren't happy but carry on anyway. You are allowed to tell them you want to talk and they need to stop the stories. The counsellor at my school apparently does exactly this and the kids hate it. They want to speak, not hear his issues!

LellyMcKelly Sun 15-Oct-17 21:35:14

Have you thought about a Counselling Psychologist rather than a counsellor? Anyone can call themselves a counsellor (though most will have BAC qualifications and be thoroughly professional), but to be a Counselling Psychologist you have to have a degree in Psychology followed by 3 years postgraduate study, leading to a doctorate. They are registered with the HPC and have to abide by its Code of Conduct. I'm not sure how much they cost as I've never used one myself, but I have a few friends in the profession and they often do NHS as well as private work.

Haciendak Mon 16-Oct-17 12:37:59

Thank you. I will look into the HPC. I could also contact one of the agencies I've used previously to see if their counsellors offer private services.

munchkinmaster Mon 16-Oct-17 12:41:51

Going to be harsh here, £38 per session is your issue. Decent counsellor would be £50, counselling psychologist £50-100

Haciendak Tue 17-Oct-17 10:38:54

I guess it depends where you live Munch? Haven't found many to be that expensive where I live in the north.

radiosignal Tue 17-Oct-17 10:43:42

Counsellors should not talk about their own lives . The space is for you. A good counsellor will hold a safe space and let you talk as much as you like, in fact they often sit in silence with you to see what comes up. I think it's hard to find someone good and I speak from experience. If I were you, look for someone who has a lot of experience, not newly qualified, and preferably a Psychotherapist rather than a counsellor. Look for someone who is an Integrative or Person centred counsellor and has received counselling themselves throughout their training and is properly supervised. Some counsellors do college courses during which they don't receive their own therapy throughout. Some, I am sorry to say, are just bad counsellors, despite all their qualifications.
Also, you should feel able to feed your concerns back to the counsellor and discuss what isn't working for you. If they feel you interrupt too much, say so. If they can't take it on board, they are no good.

radiosignal Tue 17-Oct-17 10:46:43

£38 a session, is not too cheap. It depends on the area. £40 is the norm round here. Never use a counsellor who isn't registered with the BACP or UKCP.

Rainbowglow Tue 17-Oct-17 10:59:29

I have been seeing a psychotherapist since May. I pay £80 a session. I spent a lot of time finding the right person, doing research and checking how qualified they are, professional registrations etc. I had phone calls with a few. I met one and it did not feel right. The psychptherapist I have been seeing agrees 6 weekly sessions with me and then we review and agree the next block of sessions. That is what works for me. I am a great believer in doing what works for you to be healthy in mind and body.

Haciendak Tue 17-Oct-17 19:17:35

Thanks all I think finding someone who is BACP or UKCP registered is a must. I always ensure this but still have trouble finding somebody who will let me do the talking. I find the older a counsellor is, the harder it is to get a word in edgeways to be honest. They seem to want to advise a lot with their own experiences and stories. Ive seen 3 younger counsellors who have been much better listeners. I think I perhaps need to do a lot more research before finding the next one and it looks like I will have to pay a little more for better quality.

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